Tony Popovic ahead of Round 2: Melbourne Victory v Western Sydney Wanderers

Melbourne Victory Head Coach Tony Popovic spoke to media on Friday morning ahead of their Round Two clash with Western Sydney Wanderers at AAMI Park on Saturday night.

On Victory’s AAMI Park home opener…

“We’re hearing there will be a good crowd with away fans as well. That’s encouraging, it’s great for our game and great for this stadium.”

“It’s what we want as a code to get fans into the stadium and create a great atmosphere that we felt last week and I’m sure our fans and members will replicate it this week.”

On Chris Ikonomidis’ chances to start…

“We know how talented Chris is and we expect that type of performance (in Round One) from him. I’m glad he produced it, he’s had a very good pre-season.”

“His talent hasn’t wavered and now his body is in fantastic shape. He’s starting to remind me of the Chris I remember from Wanderers and the time I had him at Perth – really confident and dynamic. I’m sure that will keep building throughout the year.”

“It was a tough decision (for Chris to start on the bench) before the game and it will be another tough decision this week.”

On the status of injured players…

Tomi Juric – “He’s close. He trained with the group yesterday and he’s pulled up really well this morning. We know he’s very close now, we could put him in this week but we’ll save him. If he can have another full week next week then it gives himself a chance to be involved.”

Matt Spiranovic – “He’s another one who’s very close. We’re just being a bit patient with Spira and when we bring him back, we’ll do everything we can to try and keep him back.”

Jason Geria – “He’s another one who’s been training with the group now but with his layoff being much longer, he’ll take a bit more time than the other two.”

Watch the full press conference: